Title: Masquerade

Author: Dark Hooded Eriol the Magician

Fandom: Naruto

Pairing: Sasuke x Sakura

Theme: 2. Masks

Rating: T

Disclaimer: Naruto isn't mine.

A/N: As usual, some OOC in the story. I hope you enjoy the story.

Halloween was always fun. Kids went trick or treating. There were plenty of tricks to play on unsuspecting citizens. The kids all waited for the sweets that the night promised.

Haruno Sakura loved Halloween. She always looked forward to it as a little girl. Yamanaka Ino used to be her favorite friend to go out with. They would dress up in fabulous and fantastic outfits to celebrate the night.

The festivities included a new activity this year. Tsunade-sama declared that Konoha's ninjas deserved a break. She would sponsor a masquerade to help the ninjas unwind. Shizune had frantically reminded her boss that Konoha's coffers couldn't afford such an activity but it fell on deaf ears. The masquerade was tonight.

Sakura dressed as a goddess. She was wearing a dress that was made of floaty and silvery material. Its hem ended just above her thighs while her arms were bare. Real diamonds glittered on her ears. She was wearing a silver mask that hid half of her face. The left side of the mask was adorned with sparkling sequins. Her pink hair was tied on a low side ponytail. (She'd brought along some weapons. A kunoichi would never let her guard down.)

"You look fantastic," Ino said cheerfully. The girl was wearing a very short black dress made of clingy material. On her hair was a pair of cat ears and she was even wearing a mask shaped like a cat's face. Ino had even drawn whiskers on her smooth cheeks and a bell around her neck. A long tail trailed behind her.

"So do you," Sakura said with a smile. She knew that her pink hair was a giveaway. "You look so sexy."

"Thank you," the blonde winked "Shikamaru-kun restrained himself from ravishing me."

"You're so in love," laughed the pink-haired girl "shall we go?"

They walked towards the town square. A tent had been put up and they could hear music coming from within. People dressed in all kinds of costumes milled in front of the entrance. It looked like the party had already started.

"I wonder what Naruto-kun would be," Ino mused.

"Hinata-chan would know," Sakura smirked. She tilted her head towards their direction. Ino's jaw dropped when she saw that the two were holding hands. Hyuuga Hinata was wearing a cute halter dress with a fox's tail trailing behind her. She was even wearing gloves and fox ears on her hair. Naruto was wearing fox ears and a fox mask. He was grinning like crazy.

"You did not even change," the pink-haired girl observed as they caught up with them. "You look adorable, Hinata-chan."

"She's a foxy lady," Naruto said. The three girls groaned in unison.

"This masquerade is starting to look like a zoo," Ino said with a giggle. She pointed to her boyfriend, Nara Shikamaru, who was so lazy that he was wearing a headband with deer ears sticking out of it. "I had to insist that he wore that at least."

Sakura laughed. "That's priceless."

"Yes, I know." Ino giggled. She kissed her best friend's cheek. "I'm going to dance with Shikamaru now. You should've gotten a date at least."

She forced a smile. "Have fun," she said instead.

Sakura watched Ino march up to Shikamaru and take his hand. The usually lazy man led her to the dance floor and they started to sway. Music flooded her ears. Ino looked rapturous.

It would be fun if she had someone like that. Uchiha Sasuke was the only man she ever wanted. Plenty of guys had tried asking her out but she waited for him. Sasuke did not even say a word.

"That's life," Sakura murmured as she went to the punch bowl. Tsunade-sama was steadily working her way through the liquor. Jiraiya-sama looked just as drunk. Shizune looked relaxed and was flirting with a handsome ninja. She poured a drink for herself.

The dance floor was filled with couples. Sakura smiled to herself. She did not realize that there were so many ninjas that were dating. Mixing business and pleasure, she thought as she raised her glass in a silent toast.

She tapped her foot in time with the music. It would be fun if she found Rock Lee. He would ask her to dance, she would demure and then she would agree. It would be wonderful to spin in his arms and imagine that she loved him.

Sakura felt sad. It would not be fair to Lee. She was in love with Sasuke. It would do no good to pretend that she was in love with somebody else. Sasuke was the only one that she ever wanted.

She did not even know if he would come tonight.

"Why do you look sad?"

Sakura turned around and gasped. She recovered from her shock when the voice registered in her mind. With an effort, she recovered her poise. "Kakashi-sensei, you scared me."

"Did I?" Hatake Kakashi said idly. He removed the blanket and stared down at her. "I thought blankets with cut-outs for eyes don't count as scary."

"Why are you dressing up as a ghost?" Sakura asked curiously.

"It's because some idiot decided to glue his costume to my skin," Kakashi answered cheerfully. "No, it's not Gai. It's someone else."

"Who would come to a masquerade wearing such a lame costume?" Sakura said incredelously. She heard a cough from behind her. Surprised, she spun around to see Uchiha Sasuke behind her. Kakashi shrugged and walked away to leave them alone. Sakura took a moment to drink in his appearance.

"It's his idea." Sasuke said as he nodded towards Kakashi's direction. "Kakashi-sensei said I would be hard to recognize if I wore it. That's before I passed by some crazy genins who laughed their heads off."

Sakura giggled. She could imagine what Sasuke had gone through. "So you decided to glue it on him. That's brilliant."

Sasuke drank in the sight of a laughing Sakura. She looked so beautiful. He suddenly had the urge to kiss her. With a blush, he pushed away the thought. "Would you like to dance?"

She stared at him. Sasuke was wearing a tuxedo and a black mask that meshed well with his face. He smelled so good. Sakura nodded.

He took her hand and led her to the dance floor. The music throbbed in her ears. She felt intoxicated with his smell, his presence and the music. It was a heady sensation. When his arm slipped around her waist to pull her close, she felt like she was floating.

Sakura stared up into his face. She gave him a sweet smile. "What are you supposed to be?"

"Prince Charming," he whispered as his lips grazed her ear. She trembled. "I'm paying homage to a goddess."

She blushed. He thought about comparing her to a rose. She was lovelier than all of the flowers. Sasuke had to smile.

"Are you sure you're Sasuke-kun?" Sakura asked lightly.

He couldn't resist.

Sasuke leaned forward and kissed her deeply. She was caught by surprise but she melted into his embrace. She swayed with him and responded to him. He was pleasantly surprised to taste her strawberry lip gloss. She was so soft and so sweet. She fit into his arms as if she was meant to be there.

"You're not Sasuke-kun," Sakura said in a daze. "Sasuke-kun doesn't just kiss anyone."

"I'm Sasuke-kun wearing Prince Charming's mask." He said with a smirk. "I don't kiss just anyone. I kiss girls that I like."

Sakura smiled up at him and kissed him again. She really loved Halloween.